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 Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:26 pm
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Post Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Well I just saw this this morning, what do you think - sounds lame enough but is it really likely to happen?

http://lodgelanenursery.blogspot.com/20 ... ustry.html

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Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:59 pm
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Location: Inland Cornwall UK
Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Yes it is highly likely to happen.

The original thought was good and it would protect us from ‘bad sellers’ at the wholesale level. The ‘big boys’ who have 80% of sales but with only 5% of the total range think it is a wonderful idea.

It hasn’t been thought through, and would probably be illegal under human rights legislation [not being allowed to enjoy the fruits of your labour etc] but if they pass it, it will take years to unpick and may see many specialist nurseries fail.

I urge any European readers to contact their MEPs urgently now.

Even species seed will be banned so we would only have the very limited range that can carry the cost of registration. It will be the end of ‘heritage’ and probably most ‘new’ plants.

Chad.


Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:27 pm
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Well, this is quite extraordinary...years ago, on the cloudforest forum in the US, I predicted the development of exactly this sort of legislation. No, I'm not going to go find the post but I suspect Ian remembers, because it was met with guffaws. Guess I had the last laugh, as I often do! Of course at the time I was more concerned for the US. I pointed out that from the middle of the 19th century up to about the 1940s, depending on which part of the world you were in, you could go into an apothecary and purchase most any widely known chemical, even if they were quite dangerous ones like KCN or KClO3. (never mind that until the 1900s you could also purchase cocaine - I'm not even considering the question of things that were psychoactive or exclusively medicinal) Somehow, this was true for 100 years, and, sure, there were some poisonings* - many of them solved by pathologists and detectives of course - and some nefarious use of chemicals, but, somehow the Western world is still here and managed to weather 2 world wars during the period, and only a few children blew themselves up lol. (Oliver Sacks has pointed out that being able to play with chemicals as a child fueled his desire to become a scientist) But then, through legislative changes and liability concerns, that entire part of the natural world was cordoned off and declared too dangerous for the general public or non-specialists to have contact with. It would have seemed just as ludicruous to them, at the time, that such things should not be sold as it would seem to most of us, today, that plants could not be sold without "registration". I'm not some anti-government bozo as is somewhat common in the USA, although I do have leanings that some would consider libertarian but I really just consider liberal - in the truest sense of the term. But anyhow just as private enterprise depends on manufactured needs, states depend on manufactured threats; and the twain often work together. For example back in the early 20th century, when most pharmaceuticals were just stock chemicals anyhow, you couldn't have people essentially going and buying an ultra-cheap generic version. What had been possible for over 50 years slowly became "too dangerous for their own good." Likewise, perhaps todays mega-wholesaler nurseries realize that, well, plants are too darn easy to propagate and too darn difficult to patent...so the only option for controlling the market is for the cabal to get legislation passed making it impossible for anyone but them to sell any plants at all. And think of all the benefits! Prevention of new invasive species! No more spread of plant diseases! LOL. To riff on PT Barnum, many suckers are born every minute. Just this week, the US FDA attempted to ban people from getting their own DNA tests. Apparently knowing what is inside your own body is simply knowledge that is far too dangerous.

* as a grotesque but necessary aside, it's noteworthy that the cyanide used to gas people in the Holocaust was not a technical grade of chemical; by that point the western world was already moving toward the corporatist model of everything being a commercial "product" for a "purpose" and in fact those corporate interests in Germany were all too happy to have their product repurposed for evil, willingly making a version without a warning odorant.


Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:50 pm
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Another reason to leave the EU.

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Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
hilts wrote:
Another reason to leave the EU.

European Union sucks.. :| I disagree for the most part of its laws.

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Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:12 pm
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:46 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Letter on its way to MP asap.


Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:09 pm
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
ferni wrote:
hilts wrote:
Another reason to leave the EU.

European Union sucks.. :| I disagree for the most part of its laws.


And that is the end of this discussion. This thread can deal with the proposed legislation that affects horticulture. Otherwise, please keep contentious political opinions to yourselves, or the thread will be locked and offending posts will be deleted.

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Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:18 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
From all that was specifically mentioned in that first link, what I understand is that all plants would need to be described correctly to be a legal sale. I didn't see anything specifically stating that new plants couldn't be registered for sale if they were new to the EU. How is having your inventory properly described any great hindrance? What's been posted makes no mention of laws banning new plants, so this reads as unnecessarily alarmist.

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Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:10 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
David,

It is the bureaucracy that goes with it. The process of registering a distinct plant is expected to cost over a thousand pounds and need a ‘technical’ submission that will beyond the competence of most of us to write.

In practice that means only the ‘big boys’ with a legal team will be able to do it. The UK is blessed with a host of specialist nurseries many of whom specialise in, for example, a single genus and may be the only supplier for many of their plants in the UK. The process of registering all their stock as unique entities would be prohibitively expensive.

Chad.


Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:21 am
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:41 pm
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Regulations are simply laws...and we obviously need laws...and rules. The trick is determining how society's scarce resources should be allocated towards the enforcement of each and every law. Clearly no two laws provide society with the same exact value...so it's a matter of prioritization.

Here in the US it seems like there were certainly better uses of society's limited resources than going after the Silk Road. The same could be said regarding this proposed law to require nursery owners to formally register all their plants. Surely there are better uses of society's limited resources.

Here are a few passages that describe the problem...

Quote:
Those who think that central planning will promote economic progress are naive. When business enterprises get more funds from governments and less from consumers, they will spend more time trying to satisfy politicians and less time satisfying customers. Predictably, this reallocation of resources will lead to economic regression rather than prosperity. - James Gwartney and Richard Stroup, What Everyone Should Know About Economics and Prosperity

Quote:
Their resources can be used in two ways:investment in capital goods that can be used to produce a product for sale in competitive markets, or investment in lobbying and bribing politicians and in trying to develop legislation that will protect firms from competition or provide them with a share of the public budget. Under a large government, "political investment" can become relatively more profitable than "market investment," and a shift in investment from the market to the political arena should be expected. In private competitive markets, a firm must appeal to buyers to enter mutually beneficial trades: in political markets it can enlist the power of the state to force people to give up part of their income for the firm's benefit. - Richard B. McKenzie, Bound to Be Free

Concentrated benefits and dispersed costs are the logical consequence of rational ignorance. And rational ignorance is the logical consequence of preventing people from shopping for themselves. The solution is simply to allow people to shop for themselves in the public sector (tax choice). Then we'll see exactly how much society values forcing every nursery to register all their plants with the government.

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Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:12 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
It is deeply flawed as most plants sold wrongly labeled are as a result of human error/stupidity not because of an attempt to defraud people, therefore it will make zero difference to the instances of incorrect naming, it will cost a large fortune to police as they will in most cases have to DNA profile the plant both for the original registration and then to prove what you are selling is not as per the registration, then there will be the arguments about whether the correct plant was registered in the first place. When you think of all the problems the world has, correct plant naming would not be very high on most peoples list of matters needing urgent attention

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Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:21 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
charliepridham wrote:
When you think of all the problems the world has, correct plant naming would not be very high on most peoples list of matters needing urgent attention


Absolutely, well said Charlie, absolutely pathetic.

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:05 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
How could it possibly be that expensive to properly describe a plant legally to satisfy EU requirements? Color me extremely sceptical, I simply don't believe these claims.

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:07 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
Sorry, to comment here as a complete outsider to the business (If t it makes you feel better, every single product I sell has to come with a description of sometimes up to ten thousand pages), but wouldn't it make more sense to beef up the thread by discussing about the content of the regulation itself, rather than hearsay about it and comments of other people?

Can anybody provide a (official) link to the exact wording of the regulation, please?


Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:54 am
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Post Re: Proposed changes to UK nursery regulation
I'm quite worried about this. I initially took David Feix's stance and just though 'nah, this will never get through!'. Now, I'm not so sure.

Steven - I cannot find the official copy of the proposed regulation, but here is a link to the draft amendments to the policy. Happy reading:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/get ... anguage=EN

The telegraph has featured a few articles on this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/pl ... ssion.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/10 ... lants.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ntres.html

Anyone can contact there MEP over the issue, but it needs to be done before the end of November, so you don't have long!


Edit - here is a link to the original proposal. It really needs someone with some legal knowledge to know how this will affect small nurseries who sell the more obscure plants that we love to grow. It's heavy going.

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer ... php_en.pdf

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Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:35 am
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